Tag Archives | Mentoring Australian musical theatre writers

Why We Are Failing Australian Musical Theatre Writers

Writing_MusicI’m acutally writing this post to organise some thoughts I have been asked to contribute to a forthcoming new book on musical theatre.  This post could easily become a tome comparable to the eponymous ‘White Pages’ phone books of yesteryear if I’m not careful, as the magnitude of problem for Australian musical theatre writers is sizeable indeed.

If you consider that there is nowhere in Australia to study musical theatre writing, whether as a school student or at the tertiary level in an organised, systematic manner, you get a fast walk-up to the ennui that perpetuates our educational institutions in respect to this shortcoming.

But, even if we did have organised training in place, who would teach it?  Who has a track record of having written and had produced musicals on Broadway or London’s West End?  Tim Minchin or Eddie Perfect?  I don’t think so, even though these guys are brilliant songwriters.

You see, it isn’t about how a good a songwriter or composer/lyricist you are, it’s about how musicals are made!

And without that experience and knowledge,  you just don’t know what the rules of the game are.  And there are rules – a sort of unspoken code-of-practice that everybody in the industry understands but never quite articulates or clarifies to outsiders. Continue Reading →